Gestural Performing Arts Postgraduate Diploma

Course Availability: Part Time

4295f58f acc0 4575 a372 a022e06c9b59

'Hence it is from the representation of things spoken by means of
posture and gesture that the whole of the art of dance has been elaborated.'
~ Plato ~



Introducing our

New Gestural Performing Arts Programme


'Gestures create a language that is understandable for everyone - a language that goes beyond words, beyond cultural borders, beyond preconceptions, right to the heart of what it means to be human.'

Do you want to give your artistic impulses shape and direction, refine them and embed them in a meaningful context in society? Then this International Performing Arts course might be the right training for you.

‘Gestural Performing Arts' is a genuine artistic approach that enables you to connect with the audience and social environment in a deep level, connecting the visceral, conscious and spiritual in order to convey your narrative and embody your artistic individuality more fully.

The course aims to build bridges to contemporary performing practice where gestural techniques and approaches are present in many diverse ways. 'Gesture', as an artistic principle, will be taught and offered as a tool to create, shape and design consciously social life an anchoring reference within the practical training will be the work of Jacques Lecoq’s Théâtre du Geste and Michael Checkov‘s Psychological Gesture.  At the same time, the students will be encouraged to reflect upon their own artistic practice, particularly their personal beliefs, ideals and motivations. Not a method or a style will be taught, but tools and space will be given to enable each student to develop his/her own performance practice while exploring the broader context of his/her work in relation to audience, community and world.

'Gesture' will be the key element linking spiritual and social as well as artistic and daily life, at its core is the human body. Yet gesture, in this perspective, is not limited to the movement of the body, but includes all means of expression of our existence: it is a creative archetypal principle that is able to form, transform and perform our impulses and hence shape and mould our natural and social environment.



Introductory Courses 2018:

led by Prof. Roland Matthies

July 1st - 15th 2018 (2 weeks)

Organic Gestures, Performing the Gestural Language of Nature 

@ Kulturcentrum Järna 

 Course Fee: £ 980

Note: A total of 8 Credits (ECTS) from 'Organic Gestures, Performing the Gestural Language of Nature' can be counted towards the Postgraduate Diploma for those students who decide to enroll for the whole programme starting in September 2018.

See also:


Introducing our

The Postgraduate Diploma Course

Gestural Performing Arts 2018 - 2021

Designed for:

  • People with an artistic profession who want to deepen their artistic work and give it new impetus, forms and direction
  • People who work in their profession with artistic media or are wanting to apply it in their work and and are striving for broadening and deepening their artistic understanding or repertoire
  • or students having already completed an art related BA degree and are striving to achieve an MA degree (Master of Arts) or MFA degree (Master of Fine Arts) Fine Arts and Performing Arts in Society at the University HKS Ottersberg with professional focus placed on Gestural Performing Arts

The aims of this course are:

  1. To enable students to embody a gestural approach to performance and creative processes in art and society
  2. To enable students to develop somatic ease and flexibility to self, other and space
  3. To enable students to understand their artistic work as "embodied research" where theory and practice and spirit and body will not be understood as separated parts, but as interacting organs within a holistic gestural ensemble
  4. To enable students to integrate their personal artistic approaches and their individual creativity in a larger social context and hence contribute as artists consciously to social development and change

Programme Structure

900 hours contact time in 10 modules + online mentoring and meetings for group work in between

The course is designed as a part time Postgraduate Diploma Course. It can be studied in 10 modules over 30 months. 90 ECTS can be achieved according to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) and can be credited and used for a following MA or MFA programme Fine Arts and Performing Arts in Society offered by University of Applied Scienes and Arts HKS Ottersberg. The masters programme can be completed within a further 6 months of study. Students may apply with a draft of a personal art project they want to develop and present during their studies. 

The whole programme is a 30 month Postgraduate Diploma Course comprising of 5 open modules available to all and followed by a further 5 modules for people looking to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. 

The training is made up of four strands:

Strand 1 – Gestural training with Prof. Roland Matthies and Rachel Porter

Core skills will be taught to enable students to embody a gestural approach to performance and creative process as a form of embodied research interwoven in practice and theory

Strand 2 – Guest trainers/ Lecturers

Throughout the training, practicing artists and academics will be invited for short periods to teach/train/inspire/advise and supervise students in their exploration and research of gestural practice

Strand 3 – Independent project with individual supervision

The projects will be shown in a  final public presentation in the end of the course

Strand 4 (optional) – Master‘s Thesis facilitated by University of Applied Sciences and Arts HKS Ottersberg

The programme is delivered by InGA – International Institute for Gestural Arts, an Institute of the Hochschule für Künste im Sozialen, University of Applied Sciences and Arts HKS OTTERSBERG (Germany) on behalf of Emerson College (GB) and in cooperation with Kulturcentrum Järna (Sweden).

For more information and application modalities:

​Students having successfully completed the Postgraduate Diploma Course Performing Arts / Gestural Arts and fulfilling the formal prerequisites may enter the last term of the International MA / MFA Course Fine Arts and Performing Arts in Society.

Dates 2018 - 2021

Foundation modules:

d6914c96 ad1c 4ae8 98f6 b634138fc63c                

1. BASICS 10 days,
Sept 14 - 23 2018, Emerson College 

2. BODY AND SPACE (Form - Transform - Perform) 14 days,
Dec. 8 - 22 2018, Emerson College 

3. OBJECTS 10 days,
March 15 - 24 2019, Kulturcentrum Järna

4. NATURE (Organic Gestures - Performing the Language of Nature) 14 days,
June 13 - 27 2019, Kulturcentrum Järna

5. SOUND (Performing Voice - Gestural Speech - Embodied Text) 10 days,
Sept 13 - 22, Emerson College

These modules are open for application to everybody and can be taken separately. Please apply with a short cv and a motivation letter.


The following Advanced modules are reserved for those students who are wanting to go on with the PGDip. Prerequisite is the successful completion of the Foundation modules and the draft of a project the applicant wants to accomplish during his / her studies as well as a 4 week internship)

Advanced modules:


6. SUBJECT 14 days, Dec 7 - 21 2019, Emerson College

7. CULTURE 10 days, March 13 - 22 2020, Kulturcentrum Järna

8. PROJECT 1st part 14 days, June 13 - 27 2020, Kulturcentrum Järna

9. CONTEMPORARY 10 days, Sept 11 - 20 2020, Emerson College 

10. PROJECT 2nd part 10 days, Dec 4 - 13 2020, Emerson / Järna

Evaluation Colloquium, 4 days, Feb 2021

*Please note: credits from the first 5 modules taken independently will be counted towards the Postgraduate Diploma for those students who decide to enroll for the whole programme later. 

Subsequent MASTER Ottersberg (2nd term, "summer semester"):

March - August 2021 (full time)

How much?

Student fees: 

  • PgDip-Course Performing Arts / Gestural Arts: £9,660 + examination and administration fees (payable in 30 monthly installments of £322)
  • MA / MFA Course Fine Arts and Performing Arts in Society: + £2,880 

Prices of open modules (1 - 5)

Costs (all prices in GBP):

  • Modules 1 - 5 (package price) £3,980
  • Modules 1, 3 and 5 (each): £770 
  • Modules 2 and 4 (each): £980

Application: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

By whom?

The programme is delivered by InGA – International Institute for Gestural Arts, an Institute of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts HKS Ottersberg under direction of Prof. Roland Matthies and Rachel Porter on behalf of Emerson College and in cooperation with Kulturcentrum Järna